Is Hollywood Losing its Influence Over Global Audiences?

Foreign language programming is increasing, especially for TV; however, English-language content still dominates for movies, explained Digital I’s Matt Ross.

Global trends in Netflix viewing have demonstrated the increasing acceptance of non-English language content. Only two of the top 10 global Netflix longest-running hit shows are English language TV content. Half of the most-viewed content to ever launch on Netflix was from non-English language dramas.

2022 Media Insights and 2023 Challenges

An ARF event presented by the LA Media Research Council focused on insights from 2022 research and on 2023 priorities to meet business challenges. Issues addressed in research presentations and by an expert panel included the evolution of streaming during an economic downturn, how to manage subscriber churn, understanding Gen Z and the continued need for better measurement across the ecosystem.

The Future Shape of the Media Landscape: Predictions for Today and Beyond (Panel)

In this session, Edwin Wong of Vox Media moderated an expert panel who made predictions on what the media experience will be like in 2023 and beyond for the consumer. When asked whether SVOD was going away, Brian Further of Nielsen reminded of what people said about cable, that people would not pay for it and at its height some were paying over $200 per month. Jon Giegengack of Hub Entertainment Research said spending continues to go up on SVOD. But bundling may be a way to have people keep subscriptions longer, since the payment is simplified, and they are less likely to cancel than when they pay for SVODs individually.

CTV: The Big Shift

Tony Marlow at LG Ad Solutions unveiled findings from The Big Shift Study, an online survey conducted in September 2022 of 733 adults from the general U.S. population. CTV in the living room is near saturation, with 93% having access to a CTV there. One-third of streaming content discovery also takes place there. But not all streaming remains ubiquitous. In the last twelve months, one-third of respondents removed a subscription from their CTV service and a quarter have added an AVOD or FAST service. The study found a similar trend taking place over the next twelve months. Fears of economic inflation and a looming recession are pushing people to opt for free, ad-supported streaming services.

Attention and Engagement Data Provide Insight into Subscriber Behavior Trends

Yan Liu of TVision highlighted a fresh study to be published in a month or so, illustrating the relationship between attention and churn on SVOD and AVOD platforms. TVision partnered with Antenna who track audience trends and their impact on subscription rates, for the study. Cross-referencing Antenna’s 2021 churn data with TVision’s aggregated platform data (from Apple TV, Discovery+, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix Paramount and Peacock), they found an inverse correlation between the top 50 shows and the churn rate. As attention increases, churn decreases and vice-versa. The popularity of any one platform varies month-by-month, depending on what popular content has been released where. When a popular original debuts, viewers gravitate toward it. But low attention viewers drop off once they’ve finished the series. Churn is the norm and unfortunately not an easy issue to solve in the near-term. However, co-viewing and live CTV content like Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football lessen churn.

Viewing Options for Sports Fans: Where Are They Watching and Why? (Panel)

Heidi Chung of Variety Intelligence Platform interviewed Barry Blyn of Walt Disney and Matthew Gottlieb of NBCUniversal about the biggest trends in sports streaming. Barry said sports are thriving, especially since the pandemic ended. Fans, however, are changing. Who fans are, how they fan and what they fan has changed. More women are watching sports and women’s sports are also appealing to both men and women, including the WNBA final and the NCAA women’s tournament. What people fan has also changed. A decade ago, no one heard of things like Drive to Survive or 30 for 30 Films. Now, there’s an explosion of original sport’s content.

SVOD, AVOD, FAST: How “Old” TV Behaviors are Getting New Life in the World of Streaming TV

Jon Giegengack of Hub Entertainment and Wayne Goldstein of Sony Pictures uncovered facets of streaming that display a potential pendulum shift toward more familiar aspects of linear TV. For instance, consumers now want content aggregation and a bundling option to help find content across different platforms. This need for simplicity of use extends to the rise of smart TVs, lessening the number of remotes to manage or buttons to push. TV advertising has entered streaming in a big way. In an age of bingeability, appointment TV has also cropped up. Another adoption from linear, FAST is featuring more programs that help us enjoy our downtime, where we can retreat from the day, lean back and unwind, as opposed to the immersive programming that’s been a stalwart of streaming.

Latest Trends in Viewing Behaviors

Brian Fuhrer of Nielsen outlined trends in “the streamosphere.” Not only has streaming grown tremendously, but there has also been great fragmentation driven by a proliferation of new platforms. Viewing on different platforms changes from month-to-month, depending on what highly anticipated show is coming out. While streaming service providers seem to be able to grab viewers, they wrestle with keeping them. FAST platforms are growing rapidly as older demographics and more diverse audiences flock to them. Certainly, for any streaming platform, adding more diverse content can drive usage and broaden the base. He also talked about the “summer of streaming.” Platforms drop lots of popular content during the summer months—when the networks see a lull, causing a spike in viewership.

Video Now: The Evolution of the Viewing Landscape

Tracey Chen of Warner Bros. Discovery walked the audience through the details of their 10-year Video Now study. On demand usage has become universal from baby boomers to Gen Z, while linear TV continues to decline year-over-year with each age group. This is especially true among younger and multicultural audiences. Time spent on SVOD doubled in 2021 while linear TV declined from 20% to 12% in the same period. Now, consumers’ willingness to pay for subscriptions is cooling, allowing AVOD and FAST services to flourish. Fifty percent of consumers have used a FAST service. Roku is the most popular while Tubi saw the biggest year-on-year growth.

OTT 2022: Welcome

Tania Missad of Warner Bros. Discovery introduced the audience to their Video Now study, a 10-year project investigating the evolution of the viewing landscape, which includes the growth of streaming and further erosion of linear TV. The study found that people are now less willing to spend on streaming apps and other options due to frustration with rising costs. They also feel overwhelmed by the number of services. This is causing low and no cost options such as AVOD and FAST to flourish. Besides cost savings, viewers like that AVOD and FAST have large libraries of content to explore. What consumers want now is bundling discounts, improved content discovery including aggregating desirable content across different apps and more personalized recommendations. There’s also a growing interest in more diverse stories and international content.